By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja.
Henrietta Ocholi, is the Founder and CEO of “The Substantial Woman” a woman substance and an environmentalist who decided to engage in tree planting by way of giving back to society as she turn 45.
In this interview with journalist in Abuja she spoke on the significance of tree planting in the society except:
1.Madam please may you tell us why you are here?
Thank you very much, the reason why we are here is that as women we believe that if we pull our self and strength together we can achieve so much, and we, that is myself and my colleague agreed that women should be supporting women.
We put this idea together “The Substantial Woman” to help encourage women, teach women that supporting women will get us to where we are going. And to launch what we are doing in our programme, we decided that we should do something that support the environment, and we decided to plant trees.
Planting trees is part of the woman nature because we are care givers by nature, we believe that we should direct our care in one direction. We believe that if we direct our care into plants we will also direct our attention to people living around by providing the necessary encouragement for the nation.
So we are encouraging women to get up and do something, doing something means giving life to something. So we decided to plant the trees to give life to the trees and also encourage women that you can do something not to sit back and not doing something. So our first step is to plant trees, but we expect to go further with this initiative.
By training, I am an environmentalist so I believe in nature but also I am a strong supporter of women supporting women. For now myself and my colleagues put this up and we are going to be building it up.
For now we are going to be educating Women on what to do, we are going to be telling stories of women who did well in life so that other women can be encourage to do something with their own life as well.
So the story telling is the major part of what we are doing, the activities we are doing is a major part of what we are doing and the training we are going to engage in is also major part of what we will be doing. The bottom line is that, women should be substantial no matter what level of life you are in.
2.Asked About The Significance of Tree Planting Celebration of Her Birthday put Together?
Every year when I celebrate my birthday, I look at something very significant. Mostly I have targeted women but because if my nature and my love for plant, I decided we should do something that also incorporate plants into it. We know that there is benefits in planting trees, it helps in the environment, it prevent so many disaster that could have happen before, it prevent erosion and provide habitat for animals and so many other things like that.
And so, we wanted to incorporates that in what we are doing. So we encourage women to come out and join us. Come! Join us! Let’s plant trees together, let’s give birth to something in the society and that is the major purpose of these tree planting event.
3. Why Choose Government School Karu?
This school is very important to me. This school has birthed two of my children, one is now a student in the university. she did fantastically well she finished from this school. The other one is just about to graduate from the school and he is doing wonderfully well.
Before we came here to be honest, my son was not doing that well in school. But the educational system here has improve and they have given me a lot, so I feel we should give back to the school.
We started from this point, but does not mean we are restricting our stay here, but we started from here because it is significant.
So we will go to other schools, we will go to other environments. Last week, we were in an orphanage home and we planted trees at the orphanage to support the children in the orphanage because as care givers, it is our job to look after the children in our society, so we went to the orphanage.
So we started here and we will go elsewhere so we can proceed.
4.Level of compliant and enthusiasm by stakeholders of the school?
Oh! The school was so enthusiastic about the whole thing. They welcome the idea from the beginning. The supported me to get the necessary permission that I needed to plant the trees and it was a successful events. Even after getting all the permission and coming down, most of the teachers who were not engaged came out and was so excited. They promised to look after the trees they planted with enthusiasm. And you know we were fill with joy.
So we believe that if a plant is happy and we are able to transfer our happinesses to a plant, that plant is going to do well.
And so the happinesses and enthusiasm which teachers came out to plant the trees, this trees are going to thrive on this ground, this is a fertile ground.
5. How many number of trees have you planted so far?
Well, this is my 45 birthday, we intended to plant only 45 trees. But as we started, people started showing interest, so we got more trees. People wanted to donate so we got more trees. So eventually, we donated some to the orphanage, we donated some to individuals, we donated to this school we almost have a hundred now for just this event.
6. How sustainable is the program?
It is sustainable right now because we believe that tree planting is a way of curbing green house effect in an environmental.
We are crying about the Ozone layer and the different difficulties we are facing. The sun ray, so by planting trees we can reduce these effects on the environment. And so if we start now, this is our own efforts, if we start now, we believe that more and more people will get interested in planting trees and will be encourage to plant trees.
Like l said earlier, we are story tellers, we tell stories to encourage people to do what we are doing or what we are telling about.
I believe as we are starting this thing more people will get involve in it and we are not going to relent, we are going to continue to planting trees, we will plant many, we will plant small, we will plant every where we have the opportunity to plant and we will encourage many people to plant as we go out there to plant.
7. How will you extend your gesture to other states by way of encouraging women to plant trees?
For now we only engaged in our own efforts, we are going to call stakeholders, individuals to support what we are doing so that we can take this thing especially in the North.